Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

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Lack of Libido


What does it mean if a male is disinterested in breeding or a female won’t accept a male?

Disinterest by a male or strong reluctance by a female for breeding can occur for a number of reasons.  An experienced stud will know when a bitch is ready and may be disinterested if he knows she is not.  If a dog is unwell it may not want to breed.  If the male is well down in his home-pack pecking order, he may be reluctant to breed when he can hear/see/smell his superiors.   If a bitch is particularly dominant she may not accept a subordinate male.  If she was sent away from home the travel stress or unfamiliar surroundings and people may inhibit her willingness to breed.  Occasionally, a bitch will refuse a male that is close kin. And there are probably other reasons as well.

But if a dog (male or female) is healthy it should be willing to breed.  A male should not lack interest in a female who is obviously ready and willing.  A female who is ready should not make more than token objection to the male.  If this behavior happens more than once and with different prospective mates and no health or other behavioral reason can be found, it is a serious fault in a breeding animal.  Dogs of either gender who cannot or will not breed should not be removed from breeding.  If there is any question, have the dog checked by a reproductive specialist but the goal should be finding out what went wrong if you can, not getting the dog bred at any price.